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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Number Crunching: 2015 Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan

Pocono was a pretty good race for our NASCAR fantasy lineup and an even better race for Martin Truex Jr. Truex continues to impress this year with a fast car every race. I wonder where the Furniture Row Racing team would be if we still used the old points system. I would have to imagine they would be well in the lead for the championship.

This week, the drivers are at the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway. The race is 400 miles and 200 laps which means we will be going after the lap leaders again this week. When I think of 2-mile racetracks and lap leaders, I think of Kevin Harvick. Harvick was fast in practice and put his car on the outside pole. Truex again looked fast as did the Team Penske guys. Based off of the first practice session and qualifying, I am doing something this week I almost never do: I’m keeping the exact same team from last week.

Who was on that team? Read below to find out. As always, the prices listed are those that you would have if you have been following along with my team week-to-week.

No. 4 Kevin Harvick $28.00
Harvick was fast in the first practice session as well as during qualifying. Kasey Kahne grabbed the pole, but I think Harvick will have the better car in the race. Kahne seems to burn me any time I pick him for fantasy anyway. I would not doubt that Harvick will lead the most laps and win the race.

No. 78 Martin Truex Jr. $22.75
Truex is coming off the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win of his career. I would say that he is sure to carry that momentum into Michigan but his whole season this year has been one big ball of momentum. Truex qualified ninth and, though I would have preferred to see him qualify better than that, I don’t doubt he can move his way forward.

No. 41 Kurt Busch $22.50
Busch hit the wall in practice and went to a backup car. It looked like the car was still a touch off as he qualified 24th. I fully expect Tony Gibson and crew to get the car into race shape and be fast from the start of the race. I actually like that Busch qualified farther back, as this should give us some nice place-differential points.

No. 19 Carl Edwards $21.25
The No. 19 car looked pretty good in first practice and qualified fourth. I am a little nervous that he could fade a bit during the race like he did last week. I’ll be keeping an eye on him in today’s practice sessions. With those cautionary words said, Joe Gibbs Racing has been running markedly better recently and I think Edwards can easily get back to championship contending form.

No. 26 Jeb Burton $5.25
Burton is our “back of the pack price just kinda works” guy again this week. Burton starts 38th and that should work just fine for the team.

Race Winner: Harvick
Harvick has a fast car. Enough said.

Manufacturer: Chevrolet
Those Hendrick Motorsports cars are always dangerous here.